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Ville de Montréal

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Dominique Valade

Le portage

1992
Presentation of the artwork
Situated in Parc Summerlea, the artwork reflects the seaway that it sits beside. It is composed of four pillars, aligned two by two, that support two arcades. In the stone on the outside face of each column, a leg has been sculpted in bas-relief; on the inside face of each column are carved various animal figures (beaver, hare, deer, bear, bird’s wing). On flagstones on the ground appear silhouettes of fish. In the distance, beside the river, is placed a half-moon-shaped bench made of bricks and cut stone.

The title refers to the obstacles encountered by the voyageurs ascending the river toward the Great Lakes to start up the fur trade, who had to portage to get around the Lachine Rapids. Valade’s work commemorates this forced stop, at which the men lifted their canoes and cargo onto their backs to walk along the portage path. The four pillars evoke the mass and strength of the bodies carrying the canoes. The arcs that rest on the pillars evoke the structure of a large canoe. Viewers who stand between the pillars, their backs to the river, will recognize the bow of the boat turned to make it easier to pull it out of the water.
Associated events
Le portage was first on display at the first Salon international de la sculpture extérieure, an event organized by the Centre des arts contemporains du Québec à Montréal in 1992 for the 350th anniversary of the foundation of Montréal. With the theme “Aux quatre vents” (To the Four Winds), this exhibition of monumental and environmental sculptures brought together 12 artworks, created specially for the occasion, on the promenade of the Old Port of Montréal. At the end of the event, Valade’s artwork was installed at its permanent site, in Summerlea Park in Lachine.
Dominique Valade
Dominique Valade holds a master’s degree in visual arts and a doctorate in art studies and practices from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She has participated in a number of large-scale public events, including City Shapes, at the Vancouver World Fair in 1986, and the Symposium de la jeune peinture au Canada, at the Centre d’art de Baie-Saint-Paul in 1987. Valade is known for her painting and sculpture practices, and her artworks are in the collections of the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Musée de Sherbrooke, the Galerie de l’UQAM, and the Edmonton Art Gallery.
Presentation of the artwork
Situated in Parc Summerlea, the artwork reflects the seaway that it sits beside. It is composed of four pillars, aligned two by two, that support two arcades. In the stone on the outside face of each column, a leg has been sculpted in bas-relief; on the inside face of each column are carved various animal figures (beaver, hare, deer, bear, bird’s wing). On flagstones on the ground appear silhouettes of fish. In the distance, beside the river, is placed a half-moon-shaped bench made of bricks and cut stone.

The title refers to the obstacles encountered by the voyageurs ascending the river toward the Great Lakes to start up the fur trade, who had to portage to get around the Lachine Rapids. Valade’s work commemorates this forced stop, at which the men lifted their canoes and cargo onto their backs to walk along the portage path. The four pillars evoke the mass and strength of the bodies carrying the canoes. The arcs that rest on the pillars evoke the structure of a large canoe. Viewers who stand between the pillars, their backs to the river, will recognize the bow of the boat turned to make it easier to pull it out of the water.
Associated events
Le portage was first on display at the first Salon international de la sculpture extérieure, an event organized by the Centre des arts contemporains du Québec à Montréal in 1992 for the 350th anniversary of the foundation of Montréal. With the theme “Aux quatre vents” (To the Four Winds), this exhibition of monumental and environmental sculptures brought together 12 artworks, created specially for the occasion, on the promenade of the Old Port of Montréal. At the end of the event, Valade’s artwork was installed at its permanent site, in Summerlea Park in Lachine.
Dominique Valade
Dominique Valade holds a master’s degree in visual arts and a doctorate in art studies and practices from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She has participated in a number of large-scale public events, including City Shapes, at the Vancouver World Fair in 1986, and the Symposium de la jeune peinture au Canada, at the Centre d’art de Baie-Saint-Paul in 1987. Valade is known for her painting and sculpture practices, and her artworks are in the collections of the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Musée de Sherbrooke, the Galerie de l’UQAM, and the Edmonton Art Gallery.
Detail
Category
Fine Arts
Subcategory
Installation
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
1992
Mode of acquisition:
Transfer
Accession date
January 1 2002
Technique(s)
Carved; sculpted; engraved; screwed; glued
Materials
Steel; granite; brick; pigments; plants
General dimensions
265 x 260 x 800 cm
Le portage
Borough
Lachine
Park
Parc Summerlea